World Vegan Day: What does vegan skincare mean?

Vegan skincare is still relatively new and a growing area in skincare. To celebrate World Vegan Day, we at Five Dot Botanics want to show you what vegan skincare means, what counts as vegan skincare and how to immediately tell if a product you are using is vegan or vegetarian-friendly or even just cruelty-free.


What is vegan skincare?

Historically there have been lots of animal by-products used in cosmetic formulation from lanolin to collagen, from carmine to gelatine - and even honey! These non-vegan ingredients can be found in many skincare products and cosmetics. Vegan skincare products are completely free of animal-based ingredients, whether part of the animal or a by-product from them, everything added is strictly animal-free.

Vegan skincare should also mean that there are no animal testings involved. This point is not the case with some skincare products that brand themselves as "vegan".

It is important to note that being vegetarian-friendly does not mean no animal products are involved, it just means any parts of the animal, such as collagen or animal fat, are not used. The word ‘vegetarian’ can lead us to believe no animal products are used in a product when, in fact, animal by-products like lanolin and honey could be found. 


How can I tell if my skincare product is vegan? 

To be sure that your skincare products are vegan, look for brands and products that have vegan certification.

The Vegan Society accredited symbol means that products have been reviewed by an external party and the ingredients and production process have been scrutinised to ensure that they meet vegan standards.

Familiarising yourself with animal-derived ingredients and checking product ingredients lists is another way to find vegan-friendly products.

How can I tell if my skincare product is vegan? What is the difference between vegan and cruelty-free products?

Just because a skincare product is vegan does not necessarily mean it has not been tested on animals. It would be ideal if they were not but sadly that’s not always the case.

A cruelty-free product has not been tested on animals and does not contain ingredients tested on animals by another party.

The term cruelty-free only refers to animal testing, meaning none of the ingredients have been tested on any animals. However, a cruelty-free product isn't automatically vegan, or even vegetarian. For example, a skincare product could be cruelty-free but contain carmine, a red pigment acquired by crushing cochineal beetles.


In sum, vegan products cannot be considered cruelty-free if they have been tested on animals and cruelty-free products cannot be considered vegan just because they have no animal testing linked to them. This is the main difference between these two.

So whether you are a first-time celebrator of World Vegan Day or have been consuming vegan products for years, knowing what to look out for in skincare is as important as what you put in your body.

If you want to discover some great vegan skincare, why not start here? Our Five Dot Botanics range is 100% vegan, plant-based and natural. 

Happy World Vegan Day!

October 29, 2021 — Kwabena Gyane